Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winemaking Program for the Chez Ray 2010 Red Wines

(Please read my 2010 VINTAGE CAUTION AND EXPLANATION before trusting any of this process!) For the 2010 Chez Ray vintage red wines, both fresh and frozen grapes were secured.  Process was consistent for all:  Fermentation was started warm, in plastic buckets with approx 1 tsp VQ-15 Rockpile yeast (also called RP15) per 5-gallon bucket, reconstituted in warm water with approx 1.25 tsp Go-Ferm starter.  Once fermentation was underway, 1/2 tsp Fermaid-K was added, with another 1/2 tsp of Fermaid-K added during approximately the third day of fermentation.  At the end of the third full day of fermentation at room temperature (a full week for the Brehm frozen grapes - the room termperature while they were fermenting veered cooler), the buckets were moved to basement temperatures (60-degrees or so Fahrenheit)  to finish at a cool ferment. Once the primary fermentation was complete (two to three weeks, when refractometer showed approx 7-8 brix uncorrected for alcohol; a bit longer for the Brehm grapes, when the skins no longer rose), the must was pressed.  The juice from the pressings was allowed to settle for a week, then poured (ie, racked, but done as a slow pouring) into glass carboys or buckets for aging in the basement.  Three ounces (by weight, equal to 7.5 oz by volume) of combined French and American medium toasted oak chips were added to each five gallons at this point. The wine left in buckets was covered with wax paper, which seems to have made a nice oxygen seal.  Malolactic fermentation was begun once all the wine settled and was racked off its gross lees.  To do malolatic, the buckets and carboys were moved upstairs to the warmer living area of the house.  Optimalo Plus was constituted in a small volume of wine and stirred in to the buckets and carboys at approx 1 gram per gallon of wine.  Then Viniflora CH16 malolactic culture was briefly reconstituted and stirred in to the buckets based on proportion of the labeled 66 gallon target batch. 

Dates were approximately:
October, started fresh grapes from Lodi and, two weeks later, from Paso Robles
November,  started frozen grapes
December, finished pressing last of frozen grapes
Late December, started malolactic in warmer temps
Late January, moved buckets back to cool cellar

Fresh grapes were:
Lodi Vertical Shoot Positioned (VSP) Cabernet Sauvignon (2 trays) (brix 26 ph 3.42)
Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel (4 trays) (brix 22.5 ph 3.52)
Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon (2 trays) (brix 24 ph 3.11)
Paso Robles Merlot (2 trays) (brix 24 ph 3.39)
Paso Robles Zinfandel (2 trays) (brix 24 ph 3.48)
Paso Robles Syrah (2 trays) (brix 23 ph 3.43)

Frozen grapes from Brehm were:
2007 Ranch Sarco Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville District, Napa (5 buckets)
2008 Windsor Oaks Cabernet Franc, Russian River, Sonoma (702 08RRCF) (1 bucket) (brix 24.8 ta 0.56 ph 3.68)
2008 Windsor Oaks Sangiovese, Chalk Hill, Sonoma (741 08CHSV) (1 bucket) (brix 25.8 ta 0.64 ph 3.77)

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